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Comedy

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59:32

"A Prairie Home Companion" Host Garrison Keillor

The writer says that his desire to perform his weekly radio show stems from his restlessness after hours spent at his typewriter. He talks about how he developed a regional brand of comedy and his experiences working in public radio.

38:36

An Illustrated Take on Urban Life

New York City-based cartoonist and illustrator Ed Koren is best known for his work in The New Yorker and The Nation. He talks about how he chronicles many aspects of city living, ranging from daily commutes to street protests.

44:19

Paul Zimmerman's "The King of Comedy."

Paul Zimmerman is the screenwriter of the film "The King of Comedy," directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert DeNiro and Jerry Lewis. Zimmerman was previously the movies editor for Newsweek and has written several books. ZImmerman is based in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and is active in the Bucks Alliance for Nuclear Disarmament (B.A.N.D.). Now, that "The King of Comedy," has been released, Zimmerman returns to Fresh Air to discuss the film.

22:32

Is It Funny Yet?

Rita Rudner started as a Broadway dancer before moving to comedy stages. She says she is constantly writing jokes and testing out new material on friends, strangers, and fellow comedians. Rudner recently made her seventh appearance on the David Letterman Show.

49:55

Comedian Robert Klein

The performer's material draws from his upbringing as a Jewish kid in the Bronx, his college education and his improv training in Chicago's Second City.

42:41

Life is Comedy for Phyllis Diller.

Comedienne Phyllis Diller joins the show to describe how she got into comedy at the age of 37, after working as a housewife, reporter, copywriter, and in press relations.

39:52

New Vaudeville with Avner the Eccentric.

Avner Eisenberg, known as "Avner the Eccentric," is a "new vaudevillian"; he uses juggling, magic, acrobatics, and clowning in his act. Eisenberg also performs as a theater actor. He also appeared in the film "Jewel of the Nile."

27:36

A Comedienne Keeps Up Appearances

Phyllis Diller became a comedian at the age 37; she and her husband, who had five children together, believed it would be the best way for her to support the family financially. She is known for her frazzled onstage persona, jokes about her imagined husband Fang, and her many plastic surgeries.

55:04

Humorist Cynthia Heimel

The writer has columns in Playboy and the Village Voice. Her new book -- a satirical take on dating, sex, and fashion -- is called But Enough About You.

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